Meet Our Team
Our management, leadership group and on-ground team are an integral part of our culture and successes.
Through a shared passion for the environment, the Platypus team is made up of inspired, diverse people who all contribute to a strong and positive team culture aligned to the value of quality, integrity, care and respect.
With keen interest and education in river health and catchment management, Matt established Platypus Environmental Services in 2008. Starting with just five employees, a wagon and one spray rig, he is proud of overseeing the company go from strength to strength.
A good day for Matt entails working on the excavator with the groomer attachment and being able to look back at his work. Nonetheless, whenever he can Matt really enjoys working on the tools with the crew onsite.
Matt says he has a great team who are a lot of fun, describing them as passionate, hardworking and reliable.
Belinda 'BJ' Kelson
Systems & Operations Manager
Belinda admires the opportunity to work with a diverse group of like-minded people at Platypus since early 2013. While being grateful for the support of colleagues, she in-turn enjoys encouraging others to grow and seeing team members develop in both skills and confidence.
One of the most pleasing aspects of work for Belinda is seeing the positive effects of our restoration works over time.
Eucalyptus camaldulensis (River Red Gums) are a favourite of Belinda’s. They give her joy as their grand stature and uniqueness brings back childhood memories and such character to waterways.
Outside of work, Belinda likes to explore local nature reserves and spend quality time with her supportive family.
Somewhat surprisingly for some, BJ is an exceptional whistler capable of whistling any tune perfectly at a moment’s notice.
Environmental Works Supervisor/Accounts Manager
Beginning at Platypus back in 2012, Gemma relishes the opportunity to work in amazing environments with great people.
In particular, Gemma enjoys working in remote areas around the native flora and fauna. Nothing beats seeing the transformation of our sites; from clearing out mass weeds to the planting of natives and seeing them grow into their own habitat.
Nothofagus cunninghamii (Myrtle Beech) is Gemma’s favourite native plant for its ancient, Gondwanan existence which are a real treat to working amongst in a forest.
Outside of work, Gemma likes to walk her two dogs, see live music, friends and family. She also finds time to make pottery.
Environmental Works Supervisor
Rohanna has been working with Platypus Environmental Services since 2017. Specialising in wetland establishment and rehabilitation, she enjoys coordinating aquatic revegetation and weed control works. She loves to see the landscape change and grow to accommodate native wildlife and waterbirds.
Rohanna also enjoys training new staff in task specifics, industry knowledge and plant identification, watching their passion grow alongside her own.
In her spare time, Rohanna likes to roller skate, watch horror movies and spend time with her rescue greyhound, Bill.
Rohanna’s favourite Australian native is the Happy Wanderer, Hardenbergia violacea. She admires its resilience, but mostly enjoys the vibrant purple flowers it produces that brighten up a cold winter’s day. She even has a Hardenbergia tattoo!
Oliver is Team Leader starting his journey at Platypus in April 2017. He enjoys the supportive nature and diversity at Platypus, along with the opportunity to work along waterways.
For Oliver, working in remote locations and undertaking pest animal management brings him great satisfaction. These projects provide him with challenges, complexities and the enjoyment of experiencing incredible, untouched natural environments.
Saltmarshes are Oliver’s favourite ecosystem for its inconspicuous intricacies, small flowers and accompanying bird life. He appreciates their ability to provide safety nets between erosion and run-off.
In his spare time, Oli loves to go hiking, volunteer with the local ‘Friends Of’ group and photograph wildflowers. Just be warned if you ever play lawn games with him, you’ve got a tough game on your hands.
Beginning in early 2020 as NRM Team Leader, Owen enjoys the diverse and autonomous nature of work.
Owen relishes working in beautiful, remote areas and seeing interesting plant and animal life. He also likes working on large scale planting jobs given its satisfying to imagine how the site will look in the years to come as it matures.
Clematis species are Owen’s favourite native plant because of their amazing flower aromas.
In his spare time, Owen fancies reading, gardening, lifting weights and spending time with family and friends. He also is an avid chilli lover making hot sauce, whilst also being able to speak Spanish!
Eryl started as a Bush Crew member in April 2017 before becoming a Team leader in 2019. She loves working outdoors in the many varied locations across Victoria, and working with all the amazing crew.
Tackling large-scale weed control, then seeing the regrowth of native plants and reintroduction of native wildlife is one of Eryl’s most enjoyable aspects of working at Platypus.
Eryl’s favourite plant are Sundews (Drosera spp.). Carnivorous plants are super interesting with how they’ve adapted to use insects to supplement lack of nutrients and the native sundews are adorable.
In her free time, Eryl plays Aussie Rules for the Bullants in Bulleen, is learning the drums and loves hanging out with her dog, Lily and cat, Beau. She also loves dinosaurs!
Environmental Works Supervisor
Alfred is a highly skilled operator, specialising in woody weed removal and waterway engineering. He really enjoys operating the excavators as it is very versatile and makes light work of otherwise hard, time-consuming manual labour. The machinery he operates also sees him do a large variety of tasks including grooming, removing trees, digging or pile driving.
The ability to work outdoors on many different sites, experiencing very scenic landscapes and seeing his work make positive progress gives Alfred great satisfaction.
Alfred values the company’s commitment, precision and innovation in environmental services.
Darren started at Platypus in August 2016 after working for 10 years as a vineyard manager. With a Bachelor of Environmental Science, he is a ‘Jack of all trades’. He is a Team Leader across NRM and Civil Works, handy-person at the depot as well as training to be a fully qualified Arborist.
For Darren, canoe work can be some of the hardest but the most rewarding. He considers himself lucky to have completed a Willow removal project spanning 15km of the Yarra River, undertaken mostly by canoe. This allowed him to see some amazing places and close encounters with the elusive platypus!
He loves the variety of work and people he works with at Platypus; “It really feels like a family here and I’m really grateful to be part of the team”.
In his spare time, Darren likes to keep fit, play guitar, go to wineries, music festivals and gigs.
Tobias 'Toby' Henriksen
Starting back in 2016 as a bush crew member, Toby is now a team leader with a variety of different skills sets and knowledge gained while working at Platypus. He has always enjoyed travelling to secluded sections of bushland and work in some of Victoria’s most beautiful landscapes.
Within his team leader role, Toby enjoys seeing people to the industry grow and develop their knowledge and skills. He also likes working on a site over time and seeing how it improves and the positive impact the crew have.
Toby’s favourite indigenous plant is Exocarpus cypressiformis (Cherry Ballart) for its unique look, parasitic characteristics and when the fruits are ripe make for a tasty snack while working.
Outside of work, Toby hobbies include Muay Thai training and competition, archery, bee keeping, mead making and practicing his Kalimba.
Joining the team in November 2020, Esther is a Team Leader who enjoys the diversity of work and being able to see the positive impact our work does. She appreciates seeing sites transform into healthier spaces with the other amazing people at Platypus.
Esther relishes discovering new places around Victoria, being surrounded by nature and encountering amazing wildlife. She also loves taking notice of nature’s ever-intriguing life-and-death processes.
Although difficult to define a favourite plant, Esther really likes Persicaria decipens for its little pink flowers, two-toned leaves and messy look. Furthermore, this wetland plant has food and medicinal uses as well as helping native bees.
In her spare time, Esther loves to go camping and hiking, working with wood and watercolour painting. She can even sign Auslan and has a background in Carpentry!
Balazs is a highly-skilled arborist specialising in tree-felling. He also leads crews in the north and west and facilitates large-scale revegetation projects and remote works.
Having the opportunity to fell trees that have a detrimental effect on the environment, and then
replacing them by planting native species is one of Balasz’s favourite aspects of work.His favourite piece of equipment to use is the chainsaw as it requires great skill and precision, both of which he possesses in spades.
Balazs enjoys working within a fun and friendly team environment at Platypus.
Team Member/Technical Assistant
Starting in late 2019, Coby admires the diversity of employees, friends they have made and positive mental health attitude of Platypus.
Coby loves working in beautiful, rarely seen natural environments. They also enjoy seeing wildlife in their natural habitat and knowing they are making a difference.
One of Coby’s favourite plants are Eucalypts. They adore the ecological services they provide and the humbling feeling of being in the presence of an old-growth River Red Gum (E. camaldulensis) or Mountain Ash (E. regnans).
In their free time, Coby loves to go camping and is a volunteer bat rescuer. Before starting a career in Conservation, they were once a Graphic Artist, now enjoying being able to bring those skills to this industry.